Creation Care Alliance of Western North Carolina

Congregations with Online Worship/Prayer

Several faith communities are offering worship and prayer services online- click the links below to learn more.  Let us know if you would like us to add your congregation to the list by filling out this form.   Photo Credit to Land of the Sky UCC.

AVL Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church- Daily Devotional, Worship at 10:45

Grace Episcopal Church in the Mountains, Waynesville

AVL- Land of the Sky UCC, Worship at 9:30am

AVL- First Baptist Church of Asheville, Worship at 11 or anytime

AVL-New Hope Presbyterian Church, Worship at 11am

AVL First Presbyterian, Asheville PC(USA), Worship at 11am

AVL- Jubliee Community, Asheville, Non-denominational Worship at 9:45am

AVL- St. George’s Episcopal Church, Worship at 11am

AVL- St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Worship at 10am

AVL- Warren Wilson Presbyterian Church 

Black Mountain Presbyterian, Worship at 11am

Black Mountain First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Worship at 9:45 am

The Congregational Church, Tryon, NC (United Church of Christ), Worship at 10:30

Unity of the Blue Ridge, Mills River, NC, Worship at 11am

High Country UCC, VILAS, NC, UCC

Hayesville First United Methodist Church, Worship at 8:30 and 10:55am

HVL- First Congregational Church UCC Hendersonville, Worship at 10am

HVL-Trinity Presbyterian Church, Hendersonville, Worship at 11am

Weaverville-First Baptist Church Weaverville

Waynesville- First United Methodist Church, Worship  8:30 Trad, 8:40 Contemporary

Looking for words of hope in these challenging times? Chalice Press is offering this FREE ebook, an inspiring compilation of excerpts from our books, offering hope, comfort, inspiration, and creative ideas for weathering the storms! Get it here: https://bit.ly/2QsIBB2

		
	
	

The Red Wolf, On the Brink- Guest Blog by Christopher Lile

The Red Wolf, On the Brink

By Christopher Lile  Photo by Monty Sloan

Christopher Lile is the Program Coordinator at Wolf Park, the founder of Concerts for Conservation, and a red wolf advocate for Defenders of Wildlife.

A hundred and fifty years ago, the iconic howls of the red wolf echoed across the southeast. These reddish-brown canids lived and traveled in family groups. They kept prey animals in check, which in turn kept forests and rivers healthy. And through these ripple effects, known as trophic cascades, they positively affected the rest of the ecosystem – birds, pollinators, small mammals, and even humans.

Unfortunately, after being subjected to over a century of government-funded extermination campaigns, the red wolf (along with the gray wolf) was nearly driven to extinction. In fact, only 17 red wolves remained by 1980. Fortunately, forward-thinking biologists pulled these individuals into captivity to save the species from extinction. Within 7 years, thanks to the captive breeding program, red wolves were released back into the wild, in eastern North Carolina.

For nearly 30 years, the red wolf recovery program was touted as a conservation success. The population grew to over 150 wolves and set the stage for gray wolf reintroduction in Yellowstone.

“When we first started working with this wolf, he was 99 miles down a 100-mile-long road to extinction.” -Curtis Carley, first FWS red wolf recovery project field coordinator, at a public presentation in 1977

The last six years for the red wolf, however, has been extremely difficult. Due to federal mismanagement and pressure from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, the species has once more been pushed to the edge. 

Today, fewer than 15 red wolves remain in the wild

The absence of the red wolf’s iconic howl throughout most of the southeast represents just a small portion of the destruction that humans have caused to our ecosystems. Due to our actions, our earth is beginning to experience a sixth mass extinction event. But instead of an asteroid, humans are instigating this unnatural event. 500 species have faded into extinction in the past 100 years. Over 60 percent of global wildlife populations have disappeared in the last 50 years. And more than 16,000 plant and animal species currently reside on the endangered species list.

The responsibility for this catastrophe transcends national borders, political spectrums, and religious ideologies. We all must step up and take action. Because whether you are an ecologist or a pastor, all life in our world is connected. We cannot destroy wildlife and ecosystems without destroying ourselves.

Confronting this crisis is daunting but we can all be a voice for the voiceless. And for the red wolf, they need a voice now more than ever.

If you would like to learn more about the red wolf and support conservation efforts, please attend the second annualConcert for Conservation. March 29th at 4:00pm at First United Methodist Church of Waynesville.

Good News from the Creation Care Retreat

The Creation Care Regional Retreat Feb. 7-8, 2020 offered powerful connections and resources.

The group that gathered on Friday received care, conversation, good food, and intellectual nourishment.  With the clergy, we explored ways of collectively offering hope and dancing with despair in the midst of ecological and social challenges.  Theologian, Emily Askew, Climate Scientist, Deke Arndt, and Food Jedi, Emma Childs wove a powerful afternoon for the clergy and faith leaders present.

The weaving of grace, wisdom, and care continued on Saturday and when the first of about 130 people entered the Anderson Auditorium for the delicious breakfast we were astounded at the distance traveled by these passionate leaders; Nashville, Boone, Tryon, Waynesville, Charlotte, Durham, Orlando, Greensboro, Hendersonville, and parts of Kentucky.  Over 30 congregations from about 10 denominations were represented for the day of teaching, learning, and connecting.  Deke, Emily, and Emma returned and were among 15 practitioners and wise ones sharing stories and guidance.

Dr. Emily Askew, Associate Professor of Theology at Lexington Theological Seminary
Deke Arndt, Climate Scientist
Rev. Carol Devine, Pastor and Green Chalice Innovator
Rev. Kevin Bates, Pastor and Forest Church Planter
Connie Mitchell, St. Eugene Catholic Church
Vicki Ransom, St. Eugene Catholic Church
Rhys Burns, MountainTrueForest Keeper
Karim Olaechea, Communication Director
Marian Arledge, E.D. WNC Health Network
Catie Morris, Social Media advisor and registrar
Judith Phoenix, St. Lukes Episcopal Church, Boone
Dave Walker Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture
Amanda Hege Second Harvest Food Bank & St Mary’s Episcopal Church, Blowing Rock
Rev Anna Shine, Holy Cross Episcopal Church Valle Crusis
Mary Anne Inglis,A’Rocha- Children and Youth Ministry Educator
Sarah Ogletree,  NCIPL Program Coordinator and climate advocate
Eliza Stokes, Climate and Energy Policy Advocate
Scott Hardin-Nieri, Director of Creation Care Alliance and Green Chalice Assoc. Minister

Our workshop topics included

    • Hope in times of challenge
    • Creating and Sustaining a Creation Care team
    • Discerning next steps for Creation Care
    • Food and Faith
    • Faithfully Exploring Solar
    • Loving your neighbor: Environmental Justice and Climate
    • Children, nature, and ministry
    • Communication for change (Social Media and print media storytelling and advocacy)

We are so grateful for our supporters, Wake Forest School of Divinity Food, Health and Ecological Wellbeing Program, NC Council of Churches, Green Chalice, Montreat, and MountainTrue.

Pursuing Environmental Justice on MLK Day- Guest Blog

The article below was originally posted in 2019, we hope that on this day celebrating the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that you may engage in building the beloved community.   You can find a listing of 2020 activities and offerings Here.   One event that blends race and environment is the “Environmental Injustice: Race, Class and Climate Change”: 10th annual celebration at Kenilworth Presbyterian Church from 5-8 p.m. Jan. 20 at 123 Kenilworth Road, Asheville. Free. Potluck dinner followed by a program with William Barber III as he discusses the disproportionate impact of environmental disasters and climate change on the poor and people of color.

Pursuing Environmental Justice on MLK Day.

By the Rev. Teresa Hord Owens

As we mark what would have been the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 90th birthday, his reminder that we “are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny,” is all the more important for us to remember in the midst of this time of national discord and animosity.

The structure of the universe and the systems built by man, King argued, mean that our actions affect all those around us. This mutuality extends to the environment. The fires in California impact the rest of us as smoke and toxins travel across the country. Decisions made in Minnesota impact those living down river in the gulf at the Mississippi River Delta. The policy decisions made on Capitol Hill about climate change impact the economic opportunity, health and quality of life of people across the country – even if elected officials refuse to believe in climate change’s existence.

Fifty years after he launched the Poor People’s Campaign, King would be angered but not surprised that the people most impacted by environmental injustice and climate change are communities of color and low-income communities. He knew that for too many in our country, the actions of others and institutions built on racism and inequity do more to determine the quality of life for people than their own choices and desires. Read More

CCA in Mtn Xpress. “Many Hands”

On a day with lots of other news to follow check out the Spirituality Issue of the Mountain Xpress. On Page 28, writer Daniel Walton outlines faith communities and lay leadership engaged in work for creation care. The upcoming CCA creation Care Retreat on Feb. 7-8 is highlighted! This retreat might be a great gift for your clergy or creation care lay leaders friends. https://creationcarealliance.org/2019/10/31/creation-care-regional-retreat-feb-7-8-2020/

Greta Thunberg, Person of the Year, is not Alone

Greta Thunberg is Time’s Person of the Year for 2019. 

In an era where integrity and truth, compassion and creativity have been challenged and eroded Greta Thunberg has simply acted on her convictions.  It started with a strike from her school in Sweden and ending this year seeing millions step out of “business as usual” if only for an hour or a day. There are many youth and adults who have been leading in the climate struggle through litigation, energy efficiency, innovation, protest, and policy influence.

Greta stands on the shoulders of powerful voices and the work of many, but it is her voice that has most recently captured the prophetic imagination of people in over 100 countries. She continues to point people away from herself when she can, not wanting to be seen as a hero or savior.  She reminds us to listen to the scientists, to look at the future with honesty and act boldly.  Like all of us, she is not perfect. She is human. She will probably make mistakes and will be inconsistent. And yet the science of climate continues to unfold with terrible projections, the impacts of climate shifting are currently squeezing farmers, communities near the seas and almost all of humanity, particularly those most vulnerable. 

“Thunberg is not a leader of any political party or advocacy group. She is neither the first to sound the alarm about the climate crisis nor the most qualified to fix it. She is not a scientist or a politician. She has no access to traditional levers of influence: she’s not a billionaire or a princess, a pop star or even an adult. She is an ordinary teenage girl who, in summoning the courage to speak truth to power, became the icon of a generation. By clarifying an abstract danger with piercing outrage, Thunberg became the most compelling voice on the most important issue facing the planet.”

Greta is not perfect but she is not alone.  She has helped awaken millions to this work.  Here in Western North Carolina people of faith are engaged in climate change mitigation, adaptation and compassion building.  They may not all be protesting, committing acts of civil disobedience or fully aware of climate policy but more and more are waking up and organizing to take climate change action as an expression of their faith lives.

https://time.com/person-of-the-year-2019-greta-thunberg/

Creation Care Fall Hike with CCA and MountainTrue

BearWallow Mountain  sign up here
December 4, 9-noon.  
Join us for a contemplative fall hike up Bearwallow mountain.
This easy-to-moderate trail climbs one mile through lovely mountain forest, and opens up onto a large grassy field at the top. This spectacular summit will be the site for some guided reflection before looping back down the mountain. MountainTrue’s Forest Keeper Coordinator, Rhys Burns, will offer some ecological insights along the hike, and Creation Care Alliance director Scott Hardin-Nieri will provide some spiritual context around caring for our ecological neighbors. We will hope to catch some fall colors, but the view is outstanding regardless. We will meet at the trailhead at 9:00 (after hopefully carpooling from town!) and get everyone back to town by noon. Please bring water (1L recommended), snacks, layers, sturdy shoes, and anything else needed to enjoy a lovely fall morning outside.
Let us know you are coming- Sign up here.
Learn more about Bearwallow Mountain at

Creation Care Regional Retreat Feb. 7-8, 2020- Registration Closed (we are at capacity)

Creation Care Retreat 2020-Register Here

Resilience and Restoration in the Mountains 
February 7, 12:30-6pm (Designated for Clergy)
February 8, 8:30-6:00pm (all creation care advocates and leaders)
Montreat, NC

Designed with creation care volunteers and clergy in mind, this retreat allows you to spend the day with a theologian, a climate scientist, a forest biologist, and local colleagues and pastoral innovators. Whether you’re new to creation care or a long-time advocate, you’ll gain new language and tools to inspire your congregation to care for the environment, interwoven with space for rest, relationship, prayer and good food.

Our conversations will be supported by
Dr. Emily Askew, Associate Professor of Theology at Lexington Theological Seminary
Deke Arndt, Climate Scientist
Rev. Carol Devine, Pastor and Green Chalice Innovator,
Rhys Burns, MountainTrueForest Keeper
Karim Olaechea, Communication Director
Catie Morris, Social Media advisor
Mary Anne Ingles, A’Rocha- Children and Youth Ministry Educator
Sarah Ogletree,  NCIPL Program Coordinator and climate advocate
Scott Hardin-Nieri, Director of Creation Care Alliance and Green Chalice Assoc. Minister

Proposed workshop topics include:

  • Hope in times of challenge
  • Creating and Sustaining a Creation Care team
  • Discerning next steps for Creation Care
  • Food and Faith
  • Faithfully Exploring Solar
  • Loving your neighbor: Environmental Justice and Climate
  • Children, nature, and ministry
  • Communication for change (Social Media and print media storytelling and advocacy)

COST: One day= $25 Two days=$40
Group Discount: Pay only $15 per person if 3 or more from same congregation
(Snacks and Saturday breakfast and lunch included)
Register here.  http://www.creationcarealliance.org or email questions to scott@creationcarealliance.org

Register at www.creationcarealliance.org or email questions to scott@creationcarealliance.org